Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Looking back on playful Tweetakt 2011

I’ve just uploaded a set of pho­tos tak­en at the open­ing of the play­ful Twee­t­akt 2011 exhi­bi­tion. As you may recall, I was asked to curate an inter­ac­tive addi­tion to this youth the­atre fes­ti­val. The works I select­ed are in my opin­ion all won­der­ful exam­ples of the way play can lead to per­for­mance. Each was set up on the main fes­ti­val pavil­ion, in a pur­pose-built green­house, turn­ing it into some­thing like a vil­lage of play.

The Hub­bub stu­dio is across the street from the square where Tweetakt’s pavil­ion was locat­ed so I had ample oppor­tu­ni­ty to observe people’s response to the exhi­bi­tion. It was love­ly to see how each got ample play­time and were for the most part instant­ly under­stand­able and engag­ing – some­thing often lack­ing in inter­ac­tive art.

The works

So we had Funky For­est (Emi­ly Gob­eille & Theo Wat­son) in which chil­dren plant trees and divert the flow of a riv­er to make a for­est grow. Watch­ing chil­dren play with this is love­ly. The riv­er responds to their body move­ments, as do the forest’s ani­mals. The trees grow in shapes mir­ror the children’s poses.

Funky Forest

Watch­ing peo­ple punch away at Love Hate Punch (Stel­la Boess & Ste­fan Gross) pro­vides a vis­cer­al expe­ri­ence due to the boom­ing sub­son­ic bass sounds trig­gered on each punch and the bright flash­es giv­en off by the punch­ing bag. You almost feel sor­ry for it.

Love Hate Punch

Play­ers of Band­jes­land (Monoban­da) col­lab­o­rate to cre­ate a con­tin­u­ous­ly chang­ing dance music com­po­si­tion. It is a zil­lion times more inter­est­ing to watch than your aver­age elec­tron­ic live set as the tools used are old-fash­ioned cas­sette tapes placed on a large table. The record­ing sta­tion, which con­sists of a huge cap that play­ers stick their heads in, adds an extra slight­ly absurd spectacle.


Hand From Above (Chris O’Shea) wasn’t set up in the afore­men­tioned green­hous­es, but was out­side of course, on a large screen for all vis­i­tors of the square to see. The sheer range of behav­ior dis­played by peo­ple as they dis­cov­ered a large hand was play­ing with them is dizzy­ing, from timid bemuse­ment, to elab­o­rate per­for­mances main­ly put on by the small­est of kids.

Hand From Above

And final­ly Sound Chas­er (Yuri Suzu­ki) off­set some of the more phys­i­cal instal­la­tions with its oth­er­world­ly sound­scapes emerg­ing from lit­tle cars tire­less­ly rac­ing a track made out of bro­ken records.

Sound Chaser

This happened…

The icing on the cake was This hap­pened – Utrecht #10, which took place on the sec­ond day of the fes­ti­val. We were guests of the good old Acad­e­my The­atre, where we were giv­en the small cozy room seat­ing 70. An awe­some line-up and a thor­ough­ly engaged crowd (we filled each and every seat) made this into a mag­i­cal night of hon­est but inspir­ing sto­ries about how these projects get made, and great dia­logue between speak­ers and audi­ence.1

This happened – Utrecht #10

This was one of my first prop­er gigs as a cura­tor of inter­ac­tive work and I must say it has wet my appetite. I am already look­ing for­ward to my next chance.

  1. Check out the pho­tos on Flickr by Hein Lager­weij and oth­ers. []
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